Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a sophisticated technology that accelerates the delivery of oxygen to the body’s tissues to promote healing. During hyperbaric oxygen treatment, patients breathe 100 percent oxygen while enclosed in a clear, specialized chamber at greater-than-normal atmospheric pressure. For certain wounds, hyperbaric oxygen treatment can significantly improve healing outcomes.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Chronic wounds
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue infections
- Radiation tissue damage
- Skin grafts and flaps
- Diabetic wounds
- Acute traumatic injury
What to expect during hyperbaric oxygen therapy
At The Wound Care Center at South Shore Hospital, our hyperbaric chambers have been designed for patient comfort. Before starting hyperbaric therapy, our staff will meet with you to explain the procedure, discuss your overall treatment plan, and address any questions or concerns you may have.
During treatment, you will lie down on a bed inside a transparent, double-acrylic chamber. You will be able to see outside the chamber at all times, and you will be closely monitored by a hyperbaric specialist throughout the procedure.
Prior to entering the chamber, you will be asked to change into a 100% cotton gown, which will be provided for you. No other clothing items are allowed inside the hyperbaric oxygen treatment chamber for safety reasons. While inside the chamber, you will be able to communicate with attending technicians via intercom. You will also be able to watch television, listen to music, or nap.
Oxygen will begin to circulate within the chamber causing a gradual increase in pressure and a temporary rise in temperature. As a result of the increased pressure, you may experience fullness in your ears similar to the sensation you might feel in an airplane or driving up and down a mountain road.
A hyperbaric specialist will remain by your side throughout the treatment to adjust the rate of compression and instruct you in ways to help relieve the mild pressure you may be feeling as you adjust to the change in air pressure. Most treatment sessions last about two hours.
There are minimal after-effects with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but there is a chance you may feel a bit lightheaded or tired following treatment. Some patients may develop a temporary change in eyesight which returns to normal within a few weeks after therapy has been completed.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment